St John the Baptist Parish Church

Where a warm welcome awaits you

Justice/Peace/Sustainability

Message from Bishop Andrew

The Friends of the Anglican Church in Ethiopia (FACE), a charity Janice and I set up as we returned from Ethiopia, are looking for freelance help with administration. The work will include: database administration, preparation and sending out of newsletters and other communications by email, social media and post (mail merging selected groups from the database as needed), updating the website, sending out thank you letters, filing grant reports, preparing meeting papers for Trustee meetings and minutes, and other admin tasks as needed. They anticipate that these tasks will require about 40 hours input a year, with peaks at busy times. This role would suit someone who is flexible, quick to grasp what is needed, and who is proficient in all aspects of computer and online communication. As a small charity, they have a limited budget and are able to offer around £500 a year for this. For more information, please contact Revd Darrell Hannah on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Being concerned about global justice, peace and sustainability of our planet

Part of the Church Vision (see separate webpage) is to be concerned for the whole of Creation: passionate about global justice, peace and the sustainability of our planet. In particular, we aim to do the following:-

Promote an eco-friendly Church
Work towards a self sustaining, low carbon footprint, eco-environmentally friendly building.

Appoint someone to investigate and liaise with outside agencies and other churches.

Encourage individual responsibility to reduce carbon emissions.
Raise awareness about issues of global peace and justice and take appropriate action

Be globally aware, taking an interest in the news and other sources.
Identify suitable partners and support them in addressing issues of global justice.
Participate in national campaigns for just causes.
Continue links with missions, welcoming guest preachers to inform us.
Publish regular updates in St Johns News by our mission representatives.
Reflect issues of global justice in worship.
Foster Church unity.

Syrian Refugees settling in the Wokingham District

In December a meeting of Wokingham District Council was chaired by Simon Price  and subsequently addressed by: Daniel Hobbs from the Home Office, Deputy Head of the Government’s Resettlement Programme; Ray Millard, the partnership manager S.E. Strategic Partnership for Migration; Nick Hagbourne – Reading Refugee Support Group; and Zaimal Koroma – Reading Red Cross.  They described their experiences in Reading. The Government has pledged to take in 20,000 refugees from the United Camps in Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan. Life there is very basic although the Government has already spent billions in aid there.

Of the 20,000 promised, the first 200 came in September. It was expected that 1,000 would be resettled before Christmas. Daniel Hobbs is in charge of this resettlement programme together with the help of “a team made up of local government representatives”. Of the numbers seeking resettlement there were two levels of screening including medical screening done, first in the camps and again on reaching the U.K .but those selected would match up to the following criteria: women with children on their on their own; survivors of torture; those with particular medical needs; those with problems of sexual identity.

Each local authority is being asked to house five families. Five-bedroomed houses are being sought for which the rent and maintenance would be paid over a five-year period. Support from the Overseas Development Aid would be provided. After five years the resettled family can return or apply for resettlement. A case worker and translator would accompany each party of refugees. For practical reasons the authority is hoping to find accommodation within reasonable distance of work which does present difficulties. Bracknell we were told has 1,000 on its waiting list for houses. Reading has similar problems. It is probable that Wokingham’s refugees will probably be placed in the Woodley/Earley area.

A steering committee has been set up. Since so many contributed to the church collection sent to the Red Cross for the Syrian Refugees and  Crowthorne is unlikely to provide suitable housing, members of our  congregation  may want to help further. Nick Hayborne of the Reading Support Group told us that Reading was running short of money. Many would like to have more information about how the scheme was progressing. Simon Price at Wokingham Town Hall would be delighted to hear from you.

My thanks to David Butler for his help in drafting this report and for the following information supplied.

Hilary Burton

The U.K. is the second largest bilateral donor to the Syrian Crisis. The Prime minister announced a further £100 million on the 4th September and an additional  £115 million pounds at an emergency meeting of the European Council on the 23rd September. This takes our total contribution to £1.12 billion since 2012 to help vulnerable people in Syria and refugees in the region. Further aid has been allocated to support local capacity and build larger team stability in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt.